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UnDisciplined: Can you still travel the roads that Julius Caesar built? 

Appian Way near Casal Rotondo, Italy
Wikimedia Commons
Appian Way, near Casal Rotondo, Italy

Long before Julius Caesar became one of the most powerful rulers in the world, he was a relatively unknown curator of the Via Appia, a road stretching from Rome on the Tyrrhenian Coast to the Salento Peninsula on the Adriatic Sea. To gain popularity with fellow Romans, Caesar borrowed significant sums to restore the ancient highway — and later used it to lead armies across the empire. Today, you can still travel on the Via Appia — and other roads that Caesar used as he consolidated his control over a vast territory surrounding the Mediterranean Sea...

...And that’s what John Keahey did in his latest exploration of Italy, North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. He joins us for the episode to share his experience.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>